BANGOR — It was neither pretty nor artistic, but it was the most beautiful victory in the history of the Wells High girls’ basketball program.

The Warriors held Hermon scoreless in overtime, and senior Franny Ramsdell scored five points in the extra session as Wells defeated the Hawks 34-26 in the Class B girls’ state championship game Friday night at Cross Insurance Center.

“When it came down to it, we finished the game,” said Ramsdell, clutching the shiny Gold Ball trophy in her right arm and wearing a cut-down net around her neck. “We finished what we came here for. We finished what we’ve been working for all season. This was our goal.”

Wells (16-6) had only been in one state championship game previously, losing the Class C final to Hodgdon in 1979. In fact, this is the first state championship won by a Wells girls’ team in any sport.

And while Coach Don Abbott called it a “rock fight,” he knew the significance of the championship.

“You can only be the first one time,” said Abbott, whose cell phone buzzed continuously after the awards ceremony. “And so they’re the first. And they’ll always be the first. I can’t think of a more deserving group … On the same token, I know this is for all the girls that have played for us.”

This game was dominated by defense. Wells, which scored only 13 points over the second, third and fourth quarters, held Hermon (20-2) scoreless for the final 9:21.

“You’ve got to make baskets to win the game,” said Hermon Coach Chris Cameron. “I thought we played good defense. Wells is a good team.”

Hermon came out in a man-to-man defense, and Wells took a 6-0 lead in the first two minutes.

“They proved quickly we could not match up man-to-man with them,” said Cameron.

So the Hawks switched to a 1-3-1 zone that completely took the Warriors out of their offense. While Wells struggled, Abbott had one message for them: “Find a way to win.”

That came with defense. The Warriors never let the Hawks pull away, as Grace Ramsdell (14 points) and Mallory Aromando made enough big plays inside to keep Wells close.

Hermon took the lead for the final time, 26-24, with 5:21 left in the fourth when Megan Tracy scored inside. The Hawks had three chances to extend the lead but turned the ball over twice.

With 3:10 remaining, Aromando’s runner in the lane tied the game. Neither team scored again until overtime, with the teams committing three turnovers in the final 15 seconds.

Aromando, who had a huge game with four blocks, seven rebounds and seven points, hit a free throw with 3:15 left to give the Warriors a 27-26 lead. Franny Ramsdell added another free throw with 1:04 remaining, and Aromando got the rebound of the missed second shot, leading to a layup by Franny Ramsdell, who finished with nine points.

Wells forced three turnovers in the four-minute overtime.

“We knew we had to step it up on defense,” said Aromando. “This was one of our lowest scoring games of the year and we knew we could not let them score.”

Aromando had two steals and a blocked shot in overtime. Grace Ramsdell sealed the title with two foul shots with 10.1 seconds left.

“We never give up,” said Franny Ramsdell. “This team never gives up. And we know we can all do it. So we finished it.

“This is such a special feeling. It just solidifies the bond that we’re going to have forever.”

 

 

 


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